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happy to the porch, with my doll and a white
woolly lamb on wheels, whereof the uninitiated
could never, at first sight, distinguish the head
from the tail, much to my chagrin. Dolly was
not so beautiful a work of art as your waxen
baby, Lucy. She was large and clumsy, cut
out of wood, with crimson-varnished cheeks,
and her hair conspicuously attached to her
skull by a bright tin tack in the middle of
the parting; but she was very dear to my
childish heart for all that, and, for a power
of Protean versatility, and assumption of the most
widely differing characters, I would match her
against the choicest and costliest puppets of
France or Germany. Well! I came back to the
porch, carrying Dolly and Snowball. Snowball,
the woolly lamb, was an innovation, there being
no such character in the original story; but I
constructed in my mind an episode showing
how Snowball, in endeavouring to defend his
beloved mistress, had incurred the wicked fairy’s
wrath, and had been condemned to share her
captivity: so his presence in the cave was
satisfactorily accounted for. I covered Dolly’s
head and shoulders with a pink silk scarf from
my own neck, and immediately she became as
magnificent and malignant a fairy as could be
desired. Then I lay down on the cool stone
bench, with my arms round Snowball’s neck, and
waited for Prince Goldenheart with his branch of
linden.

The shade and the silence, and my morning’s
romp, combined to make me drowsy. I was
just beginning to lose the sensation of
Snowball’s rough wool against my cheek, when a slow
heavy step on the gravel outside startled me into
wakefulness, and I sat up very quietly and
peered out under the hanging screen of Virginia
creeper. Of course it was old Stock. I had
known his step at once. He was going towards
the garden, and carried a heavy spade over his
shoulder. The porch was so dark, and the outer
sunlight so dazzling, that I think he would have
passed by without seeing me, had it not been for
poor Dolly, who, true to her present character
of the malignant fairy, was the means of getting
me into trouble. I had stuck her up to keep
guard over us at the entrance of the cave, and
the glories of her pink scarf attracted Stock’s
attention. “Hulloa!” said he, looking in upon
me, with his gnarled brown hand shading his
eyes; “why, it’s you, is it, Miss Margrit?” He
spoke very sternly, and stooped as if to take up
Dolly. “O, would you please not to touch her,
Stock,” said I, pleading eagerly; “she is the
fairy Malevola, and I am Rosabella, and nobody
can come into the cave without a branch of the
magic linden-tree, and——” “Oho!” growled
Stock, interrupting my explanation, and
ruthlessly lifting the fairy Malevola by one leg, so
that she dangled helplessly upside down, with
her dishevelled locks revealing her bald wooden
block of a head, except just where the tin tack
held them on; “Oho! YOU are agointo set me at
defiance now, are you, Miss Margrit? If nobody
can’t go into the cave, somebody shall come out
on it! Ain’t you shamed to be flyinin the faces
of them as Providence has been pleased to call
into that condition of life? Come along out this
minute, you bad-behaved child.” It so irritated
me to see him slowly swinging Dolly backwards
and forwards as he spoke, with her poor bald
head ignominiously exposed to view, and her
black curls sweeping the gravel, that I was goaded
into resistance. “Give me my doll!” I cried,
half astonished at my own audacity. She was
no longer the fairy Malevola; there was no
enchanted cave, no magic linden, no Prince
Goldenheart. Ah, no. All that had vanished
like a broken bubble. Stock had spoiled it all!
But I clasped Snowball tightly under one arm,
and held out the other for Dolly with an
imperious gesture. “I WILL have her!” “Who
says shall and will?" retorted Stock, with
exasperating disregard of my demand. “YOU says
shall and will, now; do you? Them ain’t
words for little child’en.” “Dolly is mine, not
yours,” said I, struggling to keep down my
tears, and clutching Snowball; “she is mine,
my very own; and you have no right to keep her
from me.” “No right!” repeated Stock, aghast
at this demonstration—“no right! If I was
to come down so fur as to reason with a babe
and suckling, I’d ask you what right you have
to be a playin’, andand a strayin’—in a
place where you’ve been forbid for to play.”
Here he made a full stop; but added, after an
instant, and with his usual deliberation, “—or for
to stray.” The logic of this retort struck me
more forcibly than any mere scolding could have
done. It was true I had been forbidden to bring
my toys into the porch; but, next minute, there
came into my mind the remembrance of Anna’s
victory, and I felt Stock’s argument to be
unsound. “Anna,” said I, eagerly, “Anna was let
to come here yesterday, and she cut the gravel
with her skipping-rope; and if she has a right to
be here, so have I.” Stock turned his deep-set
black eyes full upon me, and looked at me
piercingly for a second or two. “Miss Margrit,” said
he, at last, “don’t YOU arguey. Argueyment ain’t
meant for women folks, much more babes and
sucklings. No good didn’t never come on it.
What they’ve got to do, is, just to mind what’s
said to them, and do it. That’s the law and the
prophets. You come out of that porch this
minute, or I’ll spile this here wooden image for
good anall.” He lifted his heavy spade, and
made as though he would have cut Dolly in two
with it. I do not believe now that he would
really have done so, for, though a harsh and
crabbed old man, he was not brutal. But my
childish heart leaped with terror when I saw the
murderous weapon suspended over the smiling
and unconscious Dolly; and, with a scream, I
darted forth, caught the doll in my arms, and
rushed away across the lawn at the back of the
house, never stopping until I had plunged into